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Soviet aerial tactical markings of WWII

Along with red stars (the national symbols), some Soviet units had own insignias. These markings could be related to a limited time and change or disappear. Also many pilots had individual emblems.
Navigation and Abbreviations.
IAP = fighter regiment
ShAP = attack regiment
BAP = bomber regiment
SAP = mixed regiment
RAP = recon regiment
IAD = fighter division
ShAD = attack division
BAD = bomber division
SAD = mixed division
IAK = fighter corps
ShAK = attack corps
BAK = bomber corps
SAK = mixed corps
VA = aerial army
KBF = baltic fleet
SF = north fleet
ChF = blacksea flet
PVO = aerial defense
G char in the begin = Guards
S = speed, N = night, L = light, T = heavy, B = shortrange, D = longrange, P = dive, O = separate


1 GIAK, former 1 IAK: two oblique white lines at the tails in 1944-1945
3 GIAD , former 210 IAD ww2
4 GIAD , former 274 IAD ww2
434 IAP -> 32 GIAP
red noses or spinners from 1943 (Yak, La)
169 IAP -> 63 GIAP
Blue(??) cowlings
160 IAP -> 137 GIAP
- ?
271 IAP -> 64 GIAP
- ?
653 IAP -> 65 GIAP
- ?
875 IAP -> 66 GIAP
red spinners


2 IAK : single/double/triple diagonal white lines at the tailes for three regiments of each divisions
322 IAD - La-7, 1945 7 GIAD , former 209 IAD - Yak fighters, 1942-1945
526 IAP -> 2 GIAP : one line
482 IAP : two lines
937 IAP : three lines
gorisontal wertical gorizontal horisontal 29 IAP -> 1 GIAP : one horizontal or diagonal line
Emblems and insigians of fighters and bombers units of USSR. Regimental and divisional symbols 12 IAP -> 89 GIAP : two diagonal lines
146 IAP -> 115 GIAP : three diagonal lines or halflines


3 IAK , Yak fighters : Winged star in 1943-44, winged sword in 1944-45.
The emblems could be in red or white colors.
3 IAK 812IAP 3IAK 43IAP 3IAK rusian markings
265 IAD . White spinners in 1943. 278 IAD . Dark spinners in 1943.
291 IAP 402 IAP 812 IAP 15 IAP 43 IAP 274 IAP


4 IAK -> 3 GIAK
13 GIAD , former 294 IAD, Yak fighters 14 GIAD , former 302 IAD
13IAD
427 IAP (later 151 GIAP) and
150 GIAP (former 183 IAP)
had "Sword" groups with rednosed Yaks.
6 IAP -> 149 GIAP - white chevron
193 IAP -> 177 GIAP , 240 IAP -> 178 GIAP , 297 IAP -> 179 GIAP.
178 GIAP - white chevron


6 GIAK , former 7 IAK. Airacobras
205IAD 205 IAD -> 22 GIAD : wide diagonal white line in 1943-1945
23 GIAD , former 304 IAD, earlier 304 BAD: short horizontal white stripes
27 IAP -> 129 GIAP
129GIAP
red nose or spinner only + number at the repainted nose area
438 IAP -> 212 GIAP
212GIAP
light-blue nose or spinner only + guardian sign and Nevsky order at the door
508 IAP -> 213 GIAP

white spinner (from 1945 - nose) + from 1945 guards sign at the right door, Nevsky order at the left door
38 IAP -> 21 GIAP

red/white nose
10 IAP -> 69 GIAP

red/white spinner and guards sign at the left door, Nevsky order at the right door
9 IAP -> 211 GIAP


8 IAK - red noses from 01.01.1944
215 IAD
323 IAD
ww2 156 IAP - white/red stripes on tail (La-7)
263 IAP - white tail
813 IAP - wide white ring (La-5FN)
149 IAP (Yak-9) - white rudder 269 IAP - white vertical ring 484 IAP - white/red striped tail on rudder only


11 IAK
5 GIAD , former 239 IAD, P39 Airacobra 190 IAD , P39 and P63
28GIAP
153 IAP -> 28 GIAP - white spinner and wide vertical white line or ring
68GIAP
46 IAP -> 68 GIAP - light-blue spinner and white outlined ring
72GIAP
485 IAP -> 72 GIAP - red spinner and white outlined ring

17 IAP

821 IAP

494 IAP - ?


7 IAK PVO -> 2 GIAK PVO
from 1941 : white spinner, from middle 1943 : white spinner and whole tail, plus guards sign
44 IAP -> 11 GIAP : LaGG-3 La-5
26 IAP -> 26 GIAP : Hurricane, Spitfire, Yak
123 IAP -> 27 GIAP : Yak
124 IAP -> 102 GIAP : MiG-3, P39
158 IAP -> 103 GIAP :
I-16, P40, P39


1 ShAK -> 1 GShAK - white vertical ring
203 IAD -> 12 GIAD
Yak - white back part of rudder
266 ShAD -> 8 GShAD, Il-2 292 ShAD -> 9 GShAD , Il-2
270 IAP -> 152 GIAP 516 IAP -> 153 GIAP 247 IAP -> 156 GIAP 66 ShAP -> 140 GShAP
white halfcap at rudder in 1945
673 ShAP -> 142 GShAP : ?
735 ShAP -> 143 GShAP :
red two-digits numbers at fuselage and tail ?
667 ShAP -> 141 GShAP :
white cap
800 ShAP -> 144 GShAP
800ShAP 144GShAP
white arrow-lightning at fuselage
820 ShAP -> 155 GShAP :
half-white spinner?


6 ShAK of 16 VA
197 ShAD: 1/2/3 white lines underwing for three regiments 198 ShAD: 1/2/3 black lines underwing for three regiments
618 ShAP 765 ShAP 805 ShAP 41 ShAP
567ShAP 567 ShAP
945 ShAP


7 ShAK
236 IAD
Yak - thin oblique white line with red outlines
206 ShAD - thin white ring

289 ShAD - ?
267 IAP - wide horizontal white line
117GIAP 975 IAP -> 117 GIAP - wide horizontal red line with white outlines
611 IAP replaced by 168 GIAP (former 737 IAP) - ? 807 ShAP 806 ShAP 232 ShAP 686 ShAP 947 ShAP 503 ShAP


1 GIAK (former 1 IAK) : 274 IAD -> 4 GIAD , 210 IAD -> 3 GIAD , 32 GIAP
2 IAK : 209 IAD -> 7 GIAD (25.11.42 - 05.45) , 322 IAD (07.43 - 05.45)
3 IAK : 265 IAD and 278 IAD
4 IAK (then 3 GIAK) : 294 IAD -> 13 GIAD , 302 IAD -> 14 GIAD
5 IAK : 8 GIAD and 256 IAD
6 IAK : 273 IAD , 279 IAD , 1 GIAD , 234 IAD (1944-1945) , 422 oaes (05.43 - 05.45)
7 IAK (then 6 GIAK) : 205 IAD -> 22 GIAD , 304 IAD -> 23 GIAD
8 IAK : 215 IAD and 323 IAD
10 IAK : 201 IAD -> 10 GIAD , 235 IAD -> 15 GIAD , 400 oaes , 224 ShAD (16.01.44-15.04.44)
11 IAK : 239 IAD -> 5 GIAD , 190 IAD
13 IAK : 193 IAD and 194 IAD , also 283 IAD
14 IAK : 185 IAD and 315 IAD

1 GShAK (former 1 ShAK) : 266 ShAD -> 8 GShAD , 292 IAD -> 9 GShAD , 203 IAD -> 12 GIAD
2 GShAK (former 3 SAK -> 1 GSAK) : 267 ShAD -> 5 GShAD , 290 ShAD -> 6 GShAD , 207 SAD -> 207 IAD -> 11 GIAD
2 ShAK (then 3 GShAK) : 231 ShAD -> 12 GShAD , 232 ShAD -> 7 GShAD
3 ShAK : 307 ShAD , 308 ShAD , 181 IAD
4 ShAK : 196 ShAD , 199 ShAD
5 ShAK : 4 GShAD (former 211 SAD and 212 ShAD) , 264 ShAD , 331 IAD , 423 oaes
6 ShAK : 197 ShAD , 198 ShAD
7 ShAK : 206 ShAD , 289 ShAD , 236 IAD
8 ShAK : 224 ShAD , 227 ShAD
9 ShAK : 3 GShAD (former 243 ShAD) , 300 ShAD
10 ShAK : 136 ShAD , 305 ShAD , 306 ShAD , 295 IAD


1 GIAD , former 220 IAD - horisontal white line , P-39
53GIAP 512 IAP -> 53 GIAP - red cap and spinner
54GIAP 237 IAP -> 54 GIAP - white cap and spinner
1GIAD 55GIAP 55GIAP 581 IAP -> 55 GIAP - light-blue cap and spinner

6 GIAD (former 268 IAD)
273 iap -> 31 GIAP
Yak - two oblique thin red lines
296 iap -> 73 giap 2 iap -> 85 giap


9 GIAD (former 216 IAD and 216 SAD) 4 VA, P39 Airacobra, 1943-1945.
16 GIAP (former 55 IAP) - red cap with white outline and red spinner
white caps - 100 GIAP (former 45 IAP) and 104 GIAP (former 298 IAP)


10 GIAD, former 201 IAD) 10 IAK, La-7.
111 GIAP (former 13 IAP) - red spinner
112 GIAP (former 236 IAP) - white spinner
113 GIAP (former 437 IAP) - light-blue spinner



16 GIAD former 1 GSAD , 258 SAD , 258 IAD.
Exlusive numbers placement at the tails of Airacobras.
145 IAP -> 19 GIAP 147 IAP -> 20 GIAP


130 IAD , Yak-9 - 1-meter wide white band around the fuselage.

168IAP 168 IAP, Yak-9L - red spinner and number at the divisional band
409IAP 409 IAP, Yak-9M - same, regimental color is yellow
909 IAP, Yak-9T and 9L - same, regimental color is light-blue


Red spinner - 185 IAD, the successor of 11 SAK
4IAP 4 IAP - light-blue ring at spinner and cap (Yak-9T)
148 IAP, same with yellow color 293 IAP, same with white color


234 IAD
133 IAP, unknown emblem + black spinner
233 IAP, the gull + light-blue spinner
248 IAP, the shark + red spinner
157 IAP (from 24.06.1944)
- ?


269 IAD
white spinner and rudder from middle 1943
254 IAP : La-5
287 IAP : Yak
845 IAP : Yak


273 IAD of 6 IAK 16 VA - Wings VVS sign at door of P39 Airacobra
30 GIAP (former 180 IAP) - light-blue spinner and cap with white boder
352 IAP 67 GIAP (former 436 IAP)
- ?


275 IAD : white spinner and tail from middle 1943
7 IAP -> 14 GIAP : white spinner and rudder of Yak
154 IAP -> 29 GIAP : white spinner and rudder of Yak, I-16, P-40
159 IAP : white spinner and rudder of La
191 IAP : white spinner + whole tail of P40
196 IAP : white spinner and rudder of P39 (exlusive star placement) and P40


303IAD red army 303 IAD of 1 VA : white arrow-lightning at fuselages
9GIAP dazzle paint 9 GIAP former 69 IAP : La, red nose; red, light-blue and yellow spinners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd squadrons.
lorraine cross Normandie-Neman regiment, Yak-9 and Yak-3 : tricolor spinner, earlier - little french roundel at fuselage of Yak-1.
18 GIAP (Yak, former 6 IAP) 139 GIAP (Yak, former 20 IAP)


315 IAD
171 IAP - red spinner and white nose of La-5FN
50 IAP - red spinner and red nose of La-5FN
431 IAP, Yak-1 and Yak-7
- ?


329 IAD
66 IAP : vertical white line with blue borders, and white-blue spinner
57 GIAP, former 36 IAP - red spinner and vertical red line with white borders at the rudder
101 GIAP, former 84-A IAP - white spinner and vertical white line at the rudder

Earlier 57 GIAP had other emblems.


white(?) cap at - 12 GIAP (Yak)

562 IAP PVO (Yak) leopard or devil.

5GIAP 5 GIAP (former 129 IAP ; of 207 IAD -> 11 GIAD) - white spinner and cowling face La-5FN
176 IAP 19 IAP -> 176 GIAP free hunters regiment - red nose and white oblique cap
29 IAP - color outline with white border at I-16 rudder in 1941
Lightning - probably a regiment of 45 SAD, I-16, summer 1941
Little starlet at I-152 vertical stab - unknown unit of Moskow restrict, spring 1941
     42  (2- ),   133 ,   ()  42  1- ,         22.6.41      -15,   30 -153. Winged starlet at I-152 vertical stab - unknown unit at Vilnus, summer 1941
960IAP 960 IAP PVO (125 IAD PVO; 328 IAD PVO), La-5 - lighting
88GIAP 88 GIAP (former 166 IAP) of 8 GIAD (former 217 IAD), La-5 - white diagonal arrow
88 IAP (then 159 GIAP) of 229 IAD 4 VA, LaGG-3 - black anchor at white rudder
ChF 9 IAP VVS USSR 9 IAP ChF of 11 ShAD VMF, LaGG-3 - white oblique cap and line
White cap and wings (VVS sign) - unknown origin. Several Yak planes of 434 IAP, 66 IAP, 42 IAP, 122 IAP.
31 IAP of 295 IAD 10 ShAK - two oblique white lines of Yak and La
790IAP 129IAD La7 790 IAP 129 IAD 1 VA (La-7) - wide white chevron
11 GIAP ChF (former 32 IAP ChF) P39 of 2 GMTAD (former 63 BABr , 1 MTAD) - white cap and diagonal line
41GIAP Command planes of 41 GIAP
white outlined red heart (La).


Different animals - 609 IAP, 767 IAP 122 IAD PVO
white spinner only - 769 IAP 122 IAD PVO (2) , 7 IAP ChF (!) ,
red spinner + red cap - 45 IAP

826 regiment - lion, 639 regiment - eagle

67 IAP (1941) white numbers I-16 : 1st squadron - 10 to 29; 2nd squadron - 30 to 49; 3rd squadron - 50 to 69; 4th squadron - 70 to 89.

226 ShAD -> 1 GShAD (Il-2) : possible different mark systems in different periods
655 ShAP -> 136 GShAP (former 655 LBAP and 655 SAP)
?
505ShAP 505 ShAP -> 75 GShAP - white horisontal line at fuselage
504 ShAP -> 74 GShAP
?
225 ShAP -> 76 GShAP
?
655ShAP The most important characteristics are the wide white bands around both wings, typical of this unit  the planes show often a white tip of the spinner 655 ShAP -> 136 GShAP
white stripes on the wings
75GShAP 505 ShAP -> 75 GShAP
white stripes on the wings
504 ShAP -> 74 GShAP
?
225 ShAP -> 76 GShAP
?


243 ShAD -> 3 GShAD
whose mark was a thin white line on the tail and a wider white band on the fuselage 74 ShAP (then 70 GShAP)
288 ShAP -> 33 GShAP
?
784 ShAP -> 71 GShAP
?


267 ShAD -> 5 GShAD : white trimming on the rudder
93 GShAP (former 808 ShAP)
- two wide white bands around the fuselage
94 GShAP (former 843 ShAP)
- ? probably three bands
95 GShAP (former 950 ShAP)
- one white band around the fuselage


232 ShAD -> 7 GShAD (former 204 SAD) of 2 ShAK -> 3 GShAK, attakers Il-2 double rings from summer 1944
230 ShAP -> 130 GShAP
- red(?) edging
704ShAP 131 GShAP (former 704 BBAP, 704 ShAP) - red(?) edging
801ShAP 132 GShAP (former 227 BBAP, 801 ShAP) - yellow(?) edging. The color of the front part of the spinners: 1 squadron - red, 2 squadron - dark blue, 3 squadron - white or yellow.


299ShAP 299 ShAD -> 11 GShAD, Il-2.
white rudder and vertical bands
431ShAP 431 ShAP -> 174 GShAP
218 SBAP -> 218 ShAP -> 173 GShAP
probably - two rings
?
874 ShAP (175 GShAP) of 299 ShAD (11 GShAD) the white color of the tail could be related to the air division, 
      while the number of white bands and the blue color of the spinner could be related to the squadron 874 ShAP -> 175 GShAP


230 ShAD of 4 VA
7GShAP Plane n.16 of 7 Gv.ShAP shows a different position of the white band if compared to the photos of Emelyanenko's plane 
       and white 26 of the same unit: on the tail, instead of around the rear fuselage 7 GShAP (former 4 BBAP, 4 ShAP) - very wide white ring
103ShAP 103 ShAP - interrupted white ring
590 ShAP -> 43 GShAP


312ShAP  oblique white cap 233 ShAD, Il-2 - white oblique cap from 1942; and whole white tail later
62 ShAP - red spinner tip and wide band
the light blue band on the fuselage and the light blue tip of the spinner, the rear part of the spinner in black 198 ShAP - light-blue spinner tip and wide band
312 ShAP
- yellow spinner tip and band


277 ShAD - thin white rings around Il-2 fuselages in 1944
15GShAP
15 GShAP (former 174 ShAP) - one ring
566ShAP during Vyborg operation in summer 1944
566 ShAP - two rings
943ShAP Vyborg operation in summer 1944
943 ShAP - three rings
999ShAP
999 ShAP - four rings

566 ShAP had another signs before and after 1944.

307 ShAD of 3 ShAK, airplanes Il-2
154GShAP 154 GShAP (former 211 BAP , 211 ShAP)
154GShAP 621 ShAP two dark rings
893 ShAP
?


949ShAP 949 ShAP of 211 ShAD

182ShAD 182ShAD 182 ShAD (64 ShAP, 397 ShAP, 539 ShAP) - winged arrow , white spinner and cap

214ShAP 214 ShAP - white lower part of the nose

59GShAP 59 GShAP (former 688 LBAP, 688 ShAP) of 228 ShAD -> 2 GShAD : two rings and red cap

90GShAP 90 GShAP (former 671 BAP, 671 ShAP) of 212 ShAD -> 4 GShAD (5 ShAK): two rings and white cap

448ShAP 448 ShAP had had 1 white band for the Vyborg operation in summer 1944 448 ShAP (former 37-a SBAP) of 281 ShAD .

808ShAP 808 ShAP (later 93 GShAP) 267 ShAD -> 5 GShAD.

Unknown Il-10 unit.

593ShAP 
interrupted white line with a red contour - planes numbered from 01 to 12 had red numbers and spinners, from 14 to 26 had blue ones, from 27 to 38 had yellow ones.
the regimental mark was completed by a white undersurface of the left wing only, from the aileron start to the tip; a thin red longitudinal line divided the white part of the undersurface from the light blue one 593 ShAP of 332 ShAD. color spinner and numbers related to squadrons: red, light-blue and yellow.
606ShAP 606 ShAP (from 28.05.42 in 214 ShAD, from 10.01.44 in 280 SAD) - diagonal white line
orange tail cap (and, probably, rear part of the spinner) as standard for 617th ShAP;    1st Squadron - red spinner tip
    2nd squadron- white (?) spinner tip    3rd Squadron - yellow spinner tip 617 ShAP (initialy 617 LNBAP , then 167 GShAP) of 291 ShAD -> 10 GShAD.
225ShAD
yellow stripe on fin 810 ShAP or 614 ShAP (225 ShAD) 614 ShAP (118 GShAP) and 810 ShAP of 225 ShAD - oblique light line at the fin and dark ring around the fuselage
The regimental marking on the tail 10oRAP 10 ORAP of 1 VA - diagonal light line

78 GsHAP - three red lines

108 ShAP - white trimming on the rudder

190 ShAP - wide white diagonal stripe

Markings of unknown Il-2 units



According to some memoirs, planes of 828 ShAP should have red fin and white nose undersurface

810 ShAP the outline along the fin's edge, its color was probably yellow, the regimental color. The color of the front part of the spinners changes according to the squadron: 1 squadron: red 2 squadron: blue (dark blue?) 3 squadron: white or yellow.

4 GAKDD (4 GBAK) : 14 GBAD (former 4 GADDD, 222 ADDD, 222 BAD) and 15 GBAD (5 GADDD)
Red banner order + guards sign + honorable regiment name in 1944-45
13 GAPDD -> 229 GBAP (former 125 BAP and 125 APDD), B25
14 GAPDD -> 14 GBAP (former 16 BAP and 16 APDD), B25
15 GAPDD -> 15 GBAP (198 GBAP, former 125 BAP and 125 APDD) , B25
27 GAPNOBDD -> 27 GBAP (former 113 APNOBDD), A20
335 APDD -> 34 GAPDD -> 250 GBAP : B25 - ?
337 APDD -> 35 GAPDD -> 251 GBAP : B25 - ?
22 GAPDD -> 238 GBAP : B25 - ?


26 GBAP (former 112 APNOBDD -> 26 GAPNOBDD), B25 (1945) - guardian sign + honorable regiment name


4SAD 4 SAD, SB bombers in 1941
7 SAD, SB bombers in 1941
35 SBAP 50 SBAP 9 sbap, 46 sbap


Outlined color arrows was the mark of 5 SAK (Yak-1 and Il-4). The emblem of 5 SAK (A-20 Boston of 221 BAD) in 1944. Many guardian units used the guards sign.


52BAP 9SBAP 40SBAP
52 BAP: white lighting (Su-2, 1941). 9 SBAP: VVS sign wings (SB, 1941). 40 SBAP: red lightning (SB, 1941). Unknown unit (SB) in 1941.



125 GBAP (female) : Pe-2.


34GBAP 88NBAP
34 GBAP: white bear (Pe-2). Probably 244 BAD: albatros (A-20 Boston, 1944). 23 GNBAP: eagle (Po-2). 88 NBAP: anchor (Po-2).


chess Polish units in VVS USSR - traditional red/white chessboard. Yak-1b, Yak-9m, Yak-9t , Il-2, Po-2VS.


Credits : , , , , Massimo Tessitori , Aleksandrs Ruckovskis , .
Constantly under constrution and need help, please email me.



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